Juneteenth Health & Healing Walk-a-Thon, in memory of Nancy Johnson

Juneteenth Health & Healing Walk-a-Thon, in memory of Nancy Johnson

Juneteenth is a celebrated, federal holiday that garnered a national proclamation by President Joe Biden in 2021; however, it has been recognized and revered by African Americans since the slaves of Texas were told, they were freed. Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, which historically reflects upon the deep connection of struggle and trauma race experiences when knowing or becoming aware of injustices to its own.

The term epigenetics have been used often when illustrating how trauma can be present with an individual based on occurrences he or she did not personally experience, but their life is impacted as a result of the past. According to the CDC, epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.

Accordingly, epigenetics begin to change before we are born, and changes throughout our lives based on our experiences & behaviors from childhood through adulthood. Why is this important to the discussion? Simple, our DNA makeup affects our ability to live healthy lives and control our body’s response to diseases. So, when we talk about DNA modifications,
simply manipulated by experiences, then we must consider the plight of African Americans from slavery to the present day. Then, we must also become more attuned to the linkages between, poor health outcomes, equality, and equity amongst African Americans.

This year for Juneteenth, our sponsor, NE DELTA Human Services Authority, is more intentional to offer to heal and place a marker to positively support traumas. As we walk together in celebration of FREEDOM; our aim is to make notable changes for everyone to equitably experience the good life, good health, and great successes. NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum solicited the help of NE Delta HSA to bring health and healing to a very important holiday in our American History. They will be there in solidarity, and to provide linkages to care for mental health, addictions, trauma, grief, health, prevention, and wellness.

Juneteenth is the day of Freedom; let’s honor that by releasing ourselves from negative strongholds that suppress us from being our best selves.
NE Delta HSA commissioned “Behavioral Health” art as part of their Art is Medicine initiative and it will be on display at the NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum during the month of July 2023.

Dr. Avius S Carroll, Board Chair – NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum
Carroll Group for HEAR (Health Equity, Advocacy, and Research), Founder

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